Judge David Johnson thinks this puerile kids-running-amok-in-an-airport movie needs to be pistol-whipped by an Air Marshal.
Six kids, stuck in an airport without supervision. Someone please call security.
PRODUCER: Kids are stupid right?
Facts of the Case
When an airport gets snowed in, an adventurous group of kids decide to defy authority and run wild. The exasperated passenger affairs bigshot, Mr. Porter (Lewis Black) dispatches his crack team of security guards to retrieve the kids, but, wouldn't you know it, these diabolical pre-adolescents manage to outsmart and out-maneuver them every step of the way.
Led by clever little bastard Spencer (Dyllan Christopher), the self-described "UMs" race through the airport so Spencer can deliver a special Christmas present to his bratty little sister, this securing her belief in Santa Claus. Along the way, the kids take a ride on a golf cat, slide around the baggage carousel, rocket down a ski slope in a canoe and crawl through vents like those other kids did in Jurassic Park. Tyler James Williams from Everybody Hates Chris and Wilmer Valderrama from That 70's Show also star.
Let me get this out of the way first: I would seriously contemplate ramming a Candy Cane into my ear canal instead of having to endure this charm-free, laugh-free, plot-free, joy-free family film again. What, just because you're making a PG-rated family film—a hard sight to come by these days in the theatre—you think you can get away with subjecting your audience to 90 minutes of cinematic hatred? Paul Feig, who's directed episodes of Arrested Development and The Office (both shows have presences here in the form of actor cameos), should know what's funny and what's godforsaken, but perhaps he was drunk on eggnog and Christmas cheer because he totally missed the one-horse open sleigh here.
Unaccompanied Minors is not funny. It's not heart-warming. It's annoying. Annoying from the opening credits to when I took the disc out of my DVD player and dropped it between the couch cushions and had to dig around for a moment to retrieve it. Let's look at all the annoying elements of this movie:
The Very Special Message
Warner Brothers included both the full frame and 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen version of the film on a dual-sided disc. The only one that matters, the widescreen, looks fine, but the video quality is nothing special. The 5.1 sound mix fares a little better as it uses the surrounds in several of the busier sequences. Extras are less than impressive: Paul Feig, Lewis Black and writers Jacob Meszaros and Mya Stark deliver a defensive commentary, and the bonus footage (an extended dance reel, a few pointless deleted scenes and the only semi-amusing offering, an extended improv session with three of the Kids in the Hall who guest starred as guards) doesn't ass much to the overall package.
Ugh. I sure am glad I can watch movies without parental supervision or I'd be forced to sit through this tripe.
This one is not cleared for takeoff.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
• Cast and Crew Commentary
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